Why You Should Read Your PEB Findings Carefully
Over the course of the past six weeks, I have reviewed several decision issues by the various PEBs in which the ratings assigned by the VA D-RAS were not properly correlated and reflected in the service member’s PEB findings. Example: I recently reviewed two cases in which the members were assigned 0% ratings for bilateral hip pain under one VA rating code for hip injuries even though the VA had assigned three ratings for the same injuries. FYI, some joints like the hips and knees may receive multiple disability ratings under the guidance provided in 38 CFR 4.25. Under each of the other two rating codes, the members received 20% disability ratings for each hip- enough to medically retire them. The lesson to be learned- even trained adjudicators sometimes make mistakes. It is up to you and your counsel to carefully check every aspect of PEB decisions for such errors. If you do not, do not assume that someone did. After all, it’s your case, isn’t it?